Twitter has announced that its recently released Community Notes feature will now require all contributors to rate a sufficient number of notes before they can unlock the ability to write notes themselves.
Rating notes on the platform will increase a user’s “Rating Impact,” a ranking system that reflects how often a contributor’s ratings have helped notes to be identified as “Helpful” or “Not Helpful” by the Twitter community. The ability to write Community Notes will be unlocked when a contributor has achieved a Rating Impact of at least five. Notes in need of ratings can be found under the “Needs your help” section of Community Notes in order to boost your Rating Impact.
Community Notes (previously known as Birdwatch) is Twitter’s community-driven content moderation program that allows users to add context to tweets in order to maintain content quality and reduce misinformation on the platform. Twitter users looking to become a contributor must meet the eligibility criteria listed on Twitter’s FAQ, such as having no recent violations of Twitter rules and having joined Twitter at least six months prior.
Community Notes users must actively rate and create quality notes or their note-writing access will be revoked
The restriction was originally introduced back in September, according to a tweet from the Community Notes Twitter account, though this only applied to new contributors at that time. Now, Twitter will require that all contributors meet the criteria in order to write notes from now on, citing its own statistics that say this has made improvements to average note quality. Users maintain their contributor status by adding “quality” contributions or face their note-writing access being revoked.
Community Notes were initially only visible to users in the US prior to the feature’s global expansion on December 11th, though some users have expressed concerns that they are still unable to meet potentially US-focused eligibility criteria to contribute to Community Notes, such as having a “trusted phone carrier.”
Twitter currently does not list approved carriers for users to reference, but it recently blocked users on dozens of mobile carriers for hours during a Musk-initiated push to block spam, as reported by Platformer. During a Twitter Space with George Hotz on Tuesday night, The Verge’s Alex Heath reports Musk claimed Twitter was being “scammed” for as much as $60 million annually paying telecoms for fraudulent SMS activity.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk has frequently had his own tweets fact-checked via Community Notes on anything from misquoting Dune to claiming activist groups were responsible for a massive drop in Twitter revenue. These new restrictions on who can write Community Notes don’t explicitly come from Musk himself, but the changes could reduce participation in the crowdsourced content moderation service and, in turn, limit how often his comments are publicly corrected on the platform.
Update December 21st, 9:19AM ET: Added details about Twitter and phone carriers.